Artist’s Quotes

A public gallery which serves the artist must never be privatised as it will then serve the commercial interests of the owners. Politicians should not be allowed to hand over the common, civic assets that belong to the citizens!

Swetik Korzeniewski, Australia


Public art galleries are acceptable to the public and to artists. A private gallery is not and the likelihood that it will show only the owners private choices must be avoided.

Swetik Korzeniewski, Australia


It’s a great place, I have been there, it’s important that it stays on democratic ground, so that the local art’s community, the cultural history of the house and the area is further represented and last but not the least that also non commercial, experimental and contemporary
Projects of local and other artists have a space, it’s a must nowadays, since their doing is the motor of cultural development and exchange between the local and the global.

Dorothea Rust, Zurich, Switzerland


A private foundation/private MAP and commercial gallery,/TAG cannot take over public space VAG in an U democratic manner.
In solidarity.

Vivan Sundaram, New Delhi, India


On behalf of Rumaleji Art House and myself, I want to offer my support to the artists community for the noble cause of saving VAG from private hands and ensuring it serves the art community of Karnataka always.

SSanjay Kabe, Bangalore, India.


”The government can solve this whole VAG crisis by being open and transparent about the process. Unfortunately the RTI s filed have been returned with no answers. Why the secrecy? If they have followed due process, then why not disclose it to the public? We deserve to know.”

Pallavi Arun



”India or Karnataka cultural institutes are not for sale to any person or private institution. Democracy still active in this great nation,..”
”ಭಾರತದ ಅಥವಾ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಯಾವುದೇ ಸಾಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಕ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳು ಯಾವುದೇ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗೆ ಅಥವಾ ಖಾಸಗಿ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗೆ ಮಾರಾಟಕ್ಕೆ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಪ್ರಜಾಪ್ರಭುತ್ವ ಇನ್ನೂ ಈ ನಾಡಲ್ಲಿ ಸಕ್ರಿಯವಾಗಿದೆ”

C Basavalingaiah Basu , Director NSD, Bengaluru


“This is the only space which is democratic and open to all. We are not against museums but we want VAG to remain the common man’s gallery.”

Sheela Gowda


“The MOU is like a noose around the artist’s neck imposed by the government.”

Nadoja Kamala Hampana


“Usually artists don’t come to the streets, but today the government has made us angry and dragged us to the street. We all know that you politicians have spent a lot of money on your elections, but you don’t have to sell art and culture to get it back. Artists have been protesting since 1 month and you haven’t been listening to us. We will now become more fierce in our protest – we will destabilize your seat of power.”

Dr. Vijaya
writer and literature personality


“Privatization began in the 90s. We have been raising our voices since then and now it has come to this condition. At this rate our very living runs the risk of being privatized”

Woman Rights Activist, Samudaya



“The intellectuals and writers associated with the current government have not come forward to express their support for this cause. Art academies should have also come forward to express their solidarity.”



“Though we have had conflicts between the governance and art, it had never reached this low level. Art is not about beauty alone, it is about speaking difficult truths. And one has to fight for speaking these difficult truths.”

Dr. Ashadevi
writer and cultural critic


“We are fighting not only for Venkatappa, but also for public space. It is high time that we as architects refuse projects whose ownership is of a dubious nature.”

Meeta Jain

“I am representing a women rights groups. I am a third generation Bangalorean. Venkatappa is part of our heritage. It is a lie to say that there is no footfall in Venkatappa – we refuse to handover Venkatappa to a private person. We want the government to listen to the artists.”

Keertana Kumar
theatre personality


“Cinema emerged from Art. So we the film fraternity support this cause and request more to join us.”
“This is not the first time we are fighting for public space. The government forces us to come to the streets every time. Signing the MoU to wash its hands of VAG was the ultimate move. But don’t they understand that a government art gallery caters to people who cannot afford private galleries. Art never gives money back. It’s a social responsibility but the government considers it a burden. The gallery caters to the rural set-up and ideally should be with the cultural department and not tourism as it is now,”

National award winning filmmaker


“Cynics might say that as artists we should recognize the reality of our neoliberal times and our protests, however creative they might be, will eventually fail. However experiencing the energy today right now, I feel that we can definitely defend our commons.”

Abhishek Hazra
Visual artist


“Without consulting any artists or artist groups, the government has taken this unilateral decision purely for getting political mileage and their selfish gains. The protests should happen in all districts and Avishkara is there to support this cause.”

B.R. Manjunath
Convener of Avishkara Progressive Cultural Forum

“ವಿವೇಚನೆ ಇಲ್ಲದ ಸರ್ಕಾರದ ನಿರ್ಣಯಗಳು ಹೇಗೆ ಸಮಾಜದ ಸಾಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಕ ಸಮುದಾಯದ ಮೇಲೆ ಪ್ರಹಾರ ಮಾಡುತ್ತದೆ ಎಂಬುದಕ್ಕೆ ಉದಾಹರಣೆ ಪ್ರಸ್ತುತ ಪ್ರವಾಸೋದ್ಯಮ ಸಚಿವರು ವೆಂಕಟಪ್ಪ ಕಲಾ ಗ್ಯಾಲರಿ ಖಾಸಗಿಯವರ ಸುಪರ್ದಿಗೆ ವಹಿಸುತ್ತಿರುವುದು ಸಾಕ್ಷಿಯಾಗಿದೆ. ದೇಶದಲ್ಲೇ ಅತಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಕಲಾಶಾಲೆಗಳು ಹೊಂದಿರುವ ರಾಜ್ಯ ಎಂಬ ಮಾಹಿತಿ ಸಚಿವರಿಗೆ ಇಲ್ಲ ಎಂದನಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಇದರಲ್ಲಿನ ಬಹುತೇಕ ಕಲಾಶಾಲೆಗಳು ಇರುವುದು ಉತ್ತರ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ. ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಪದವಿ ಪಡೆಯುವ ಬಹುತೇಕ ಕಲಾವಿದರಿಗೆ ತಮ್ಮ ಕಲಾಕೃತಿಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರದರ್ಶನ ಮಾಡಲು ಸೂಕ್ತ ಗ್ಯಾಲರಿಗಳು ರಾಜ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಇರುವ ಖಾಸಗಿ ಗ್ಯಾಲರಿಗಳು ಕೆಲವೇ ಕಲಾವಿದರಿಗೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಅವಕಾಶ ಕಲ್ಪಿಸುತ್ತಿವೆ. ಇಂತಹ ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ತಮ್ಮ ಕಲಾಕೃತಿಗಳನ್ನು ತಾವೇ ಪ್ರದರ್ಶಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಬಯಸುವ ಕಲಾವಿದರಿಗೆ ಕೈಗೆಟುಕುವ ದರದಲ್ಲಿ ಲಭ್ಯವಿರುವ ಏಕೈಕ ಸ್ಥಳ ವೆಂಕಟಪ್ಪ ಗ್ಯಾಲರಿ. ಈಗ ಇದನ್ನು ಖಾಸಗಿಯವರಿಗೆ ವಹಿಸಿ ಆ ಬಡ ಕಲಾವಿದರಿಗಿರುವ ಈ ಒಂದು ಅವಕಾಶವನ್ನು ಕಸಿದುಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಹೊರಟಿರುವುದು ಖಂಡನೀಯ. ಇದು ಬರೀ ಸಂಗ್ರಹಾಲಯ/ಗ್ಯಾಲರಿಯಷ್ಟೇ ಅಲ್ಲ ಕಲಾ ಇತಿಹಾಸದಲ್ಲಿ ದಾಖಲೆಯಾಗಿರುವ ಅನೇಕ ಮಹತ್ವದ ಚಟುವಟಿಕೆಗಳಿಗೆ ಸಾಕ್ಷಿಯೂ ಕೂಡ. ಈ ಸ್ಥಳದೊಂದಿಗೆ ನೂರಾರು ಕಲಾವಿದರಿಗೆ ಭಾವನಾತ್ಮಕ ನಂಟಿದೆ. ಇಂತಹ ಕಲಾತ್ಮಕ ಪರಿಸರವನ್ನು ವಾಣಿಜ್ಯ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಯಿಂದ ಖಾಸಗಿಯವರಿಗೆ ವಹಿಸಿ ವೆಂಕಟಪ್ಪ ಗ್ಯಾಲರಿಗೆ ಇರುವ ಮಹತ್ವಕ್ಕೆ ಕೊಡಲಿ ಪೆಟ್ಟು ನೀಡಲು ಹೊರಟಿರುವ ಸರ್ಕಾರದ ನಿರ್ಣಯ ಅವಿವೇಕದ ಪರಮಾವದಿ.

Manso Re
Film-Maker, Director, Artist


“”It is a sorry sight to see that the government is trying to hand over its only public art gallery to a private foundation..”

Balan Nambiar
Sculptor, Artist


“I don’t know who the government is trying to fool. This venture is a platform being raised for minting money. I agree that Abhishek Poddar is a patron of art and an efficient businessman, but at the same time, he is a shrewd profit maker who has stepped in to develop it as a business venture.”

Balan Nambiar
Sculptor, Artist


“If unclean toilets and premises is the reason they want to hand it over to a private company, let them hand over Vidhana Soudha and all government offices as well,”

Praveen S A
Publisher and supporter of art


“we feel that the place belongs to the community. How can the government neglect such a small space that has heritage value? How much will it take for the government to look after this gallery?”

Baadal Najundaswamy
Artist & Activist


“We are completely against the taking over of our only public art space, Venkatappa Art Gallery, by a corporate. It is not just a benign public-private understanding. It is going to be a complete take-over by the Tasveer Foudation where the land is going to be used for rebuilding. A new building will come up. And the private collection of Abhishek Poddar and the Tasveer Foundation will be housed over there. So the artists of the state for whom the Venkatappa Art Gallery has been built will have absolutely no access to the place and it will become a wine and cheese place.”

Pushpamala Narasingarao


I think that private ownership is always motivated by profit or some ulterior motive.

Jehangir Jani, Mumbai, India


Public galleries must be preserved as public institutions for the people and not given to private entities to exploit.
Margaret Alva


A state museum should be funded and run by the state!
Franck Barthelemy


Public spaces must remain public.
Vivek Shanbagh.


This is first and foremost the establishment of a process wherein private corporate interests are allowed a take over of public space without any accountability. This happened with the lakes, with health care even our roads. 46 tourist spaces are identified to be given away. The beginning of the end for such collusion starts here.

Rashmi Munikempanna,


Indeed, the space must remain independent and priority accorded to artists in determining its future.

Shukla Sawant, Hoboken, NJ